I have a confession…I’m the worst at game night. I would rather spend time doing some sort of outdoor activity or have a conversation with my kids or sit around and be bored together than play some sort of organized game. I don’t know what the root of my rebellion towards game night is, but I run from game night like it’s the plague. And I know it’s time for a change.
Our kids light up when we sit down to play a game or simply put together a puzzle. They know it’s guaranteed space for an extended amount of the togetherness they crave from us. I believe there is a blessing for our families when we can give our children the non-renewable resource of our time and our full focus. Is tonight a family game night kind of night? If game night isn’t your go-to, then we’ve got 3 ideas for how to make it happen. Let’s go on and give ourselves to game night and make it a staple on the family calendar for our children’s joy.
Get to Know Each Other
Choose board games which focus on get-to-know-you questions or activities. For example, Whoonu by Cranium is a “what’s your favorite thing” game where players learn funny bits of trivia and stories about each other.
Or, make your own game of questions. You can even create bingo cards with squares such as, “I love pizza” or “I have been to the Statue of Liberty.” Then have everyone find other family members that can sign their name to a matching description. The first person to get a row across, down or diagonal wins. This is also a great game to play at family holiday get-togethers when relatives visit from out of town — your kids can learn new facts about their aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Outdoor activities are not only fun but provide your family with healthy exercise, as well. You could go for a walk, a bike ride or go rollerblading. If the weather is right, you could fly a kite at the park on a weekend afternoon. Or perhaps you could teach your kids how to play golf or tennis.
A great way to get your kids interested in science and nature is to buy an inexpensive starter telescope and a child’s astronomy atlas. You can identify constellations together, watch meteor showers or even try spotting a passing satellite. Or if your kids love animals, get a bird-watching book and a pair of binoculars and try to find different bird species together. Your kids can even make their own nature journals where they draw the types of birds they’ve seen.
Looking for some fun backyard games? Get a horseshoe set, croquet set, or kids’ mini golf set. Even simply throwing a Frisbee, playing tag or tossing a ball around will give your kids a chance to do something active.
While purchased games are great, you can also use your own imagination with classics such as Charades and 20 Questions.
You can find hundreds of crafts, printables, and projects on websites such as Family.disney.com or in books such as Boredom Busters. You can even turn a fun art or craft creation into a family service project. Not only will you have fun together creating something as a family, but you’ll be teaching your kids a valuable character lesson by helping other people. Choose a local organization, such as a nursing home or hospital, and then find out from their volunteer coordinator what types of gifts they might like. Projects might include hand-decorated photo frames, bookmarks or magnets.
What is your favorite game to play on game night?